Posted by: quiscus | September 16, 2009

September 16, 2009

1.  “The Paranoid Center

How the panic over right-wing violence is being used to marginalize peaceful dissent

The eradication of the Indians would have been impossible without the support of the federal government. When the second Ku Klux Klan was at its most powerful, in the early 1920s, it controlled the governments of Colorado, Indiana, and Oregon. In the South, lynch mobs and night riders served as a sort of para-state: A man who wore a policeman’s badge by day could don a Klansman’s hood by night. In the 1960s it was possible for urban cops to engage in extralegal violence in one moment and to call for “law and order” in the next. You could view that as a contradiction. Or you could view it as an especially ugly idea of what law entails.

It’s comforting to imagine that violence and paranoia belong only to the far left and right, and that we can protect ourselves from their effects by quarantining the extremists and vigilantly expelling anyone who seems to be bringing their ideas into the mainstream. But the center has its own varieties of violence and paranoia. And it’s far more dangerous than anyone on the fringe, even the armed fringe, will ever be. ”

2.  ”

Correct me if I am wrong, but this must spell an unprecedented level of domestic intelligence sharing. One wonders, is the sharing between the DoD and fusion centers – which incorporate local, state and federal law enforcement and homeland security agencies — both ways? Again, a big disappointment coming from a new President who promised all sorts of sunshine into the creepy darkness of Bush-era law enforcement/domestic security policies, but seems to be instead pushing forward into the gloaming of his own administration full throttle. Considering his justice department has announced it is pretty much all settled to extend the three controversial Patriot Act provisions set to expire at the end of the year, and now this story out of DHS, it is really hard to make out the sliver of sunlight between Obama and his predecessor.

Here’s an interesting thought experiment: imagine that you were completely unaware of last year’s presidential election and knew nothing about the change in regimes; that you knew nothing about Bush or Obama; that the news you read everyday simply referred to it as the “administration” or the “president.”

Could anyone honestly say that they could detect a legitimate and significant change in direction on any substantive matter before January 20th versus after? Me neither.”

3.  Not just war crimes, but crimes against humanity:

” // <![CDATA[// UN says Israel should face war-crimes trial over Gaza

No Israeli official publicly presents a plausible end-game for Gaza and the West Bank. You can’t just go on economically strangling 4 million people for decades.”

4.  Laughable:

The Washington Post thinks the U.S. should vigorously object to Iran’s “obvious lack of due process” as a central part of these negotiations.  What would be the purpose of doing that?  Creating a jovial mood for the negotiations at the outset by provoking a massive group laughing fit?

So we’re supposed to roll into these negotiations righteously complaining about Iran’s “obvious lack of due process.”  For the last eight years and counting, we’ve been imprisoning tens of thousands of Muslims around the world with no charges of any kind.  Keeping people who have never been charged with any crime shackled in orange jumpsuits and locked in cages for years on a Cuban island has become our national symbol.  Just yesterday, the Obama administration demanded that a court rule it has the power to abduct people anywhere in the world, ship them to Afghanistan, and keep them indefinitely imprisoned there with no trial of any kind — which is exactly what we’ve been doing for years and still are (in a dank and nasty prison which happens to be right over Iran’s Eastern border).  Our current President just recently advocated and is currently devising a scheme of so-called “preventive detention” whereby he’d be empowered to lock up people indefinitely for crimes they might commit in the future.  We continue to abduct people from all over the world and ship them to third-party countries for interrogation and detention (“renditions”) without any pretense of due process.  And right over Iran’s own Western border, we not only continue to occupy Iraq, but maintain prisons in which thousands of people are imprisoned by our military without any charges of any kind — including an Iraqi journalist who works for Reuters who was ordered released by an Iraqi court yet continues to languish in an American prison in Iraq, merely one of numerous foreign journalists we imprisoned for years, in Iraq and elsewhere, with no charges at all.”

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